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FCA warns against remote desktop fraud


UK financial regulator has warned again against desktop sharing scams. As of July 2020, 2,142 people have fallen victim to this practice. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed that victims of this type of fraud lost more than £ 25 million between January 2021 and March 2022. Scammers target people aged 18 to 70.

The FCA explained that scammers steal information or gain access to bank accounts after taking control of the victim’s computer using desktop sharing software. They usually contact potential victims unexpectedly via social media or even by phone.

Scammers are persistent and try to gain the trust of a potential victim by persuasion at first. They then ask victims to download legitimate desktop sharing software to their computer and take control of the device.

The controller pays attention to warning signals

The FCA points out that one of the main red flags of potential fraud is when a company or individual is contacted without notice. If you are asked to share your desktop or provide remote access to a phone or computer, we may have a high probability of being scammed.

Moreover, the regulator pointed out that this type of scam can only take place if the person downloads the software and allows the fraudsters to take control of the computer screen. Screen sharing allows fraudsters to access your personal information, including your bank accounts.

The warning is part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign. Its aim is to raise awareness of the existence of such phishing methods. The UK regulator also conducted a survey which showed that 47% of participants could easily download screen sharing software and share their computer screen on demand. Similar attempts at extortion are also popular in Poland. We wrote about one of such situations on our website last year.

Ostrzeżenie jest częścią kampanii ScamSmart prowadzonej przez FCA. Jej celem jest podniesienie świadomości istnienia takich sposobów wyłudzania danych. Brytyjski regulator przeprowadził też ankietę, z której wynika, że 47% uczestników z łatwością pobrałoby oprogramowanie do udostępniania ekranu i udostępniło swój ekran komputera na żądanie. Podobne próby wyłudzeń są popularne również w Polsce. O jednej z takich sytuacji pisaliśmy na naszej stronie w ubiegłym roku.

Author: Izabela Kamionka

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